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What happens to the driver after a DUI accident in New Jersey?

You've been in a serious car accident with someone who was driving under the influence. Now what do you do? Do you need to seek a claim against him or her? The answer is most likely, "yes." In most cases, a criminal case will be launched against the person who hurt you, but you must also seek compensation separately through a civil lawsuit.

In the criminal case, you'll see that several other things will happen unrelated to your rights to compensation. The driver will face penalties like having to attend a driving instruction class or alcoholics program. The driver's insurance will increase and fees will be assessed against them. In some cases, even a first offense will result in a driver being put in jail.

If the driver has done this kind of negligent driving in the past, then he will likely lose his license for 7 to 12 months. On top of that, there is a mandatory fine of up to $500 and insurance charges on top of regular insurance costs. The driver may also spend up to 30 days in jail. If that doesn't seem like enough, then you may want to consider adding your testimony to the case, as this can sometimes move the court to order a longer sentence in some cases or to take away the driver's license for longer.

You have a number of options after you've been in an accident. You can choose to testify against someone who has hurt you, or you can move forward in your own civil case to seek compensation for your needs. Whatever you do, you need to be sure that your rights are protected; you deserve to receive enough money to pay your bills, recover lost wages and take care of other financial impacts this crash has caused.

Source: DMV.org, "DUI & DWI in New Jersey" Dec. 30, 2014

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